Makin’ Tracks – Decker, Spectacular Mod Lites and More at Brewerton and Fulton – DTD Exclusive

By BILL FOLEY

It was a “double-decker” of action at the Brewerton Speedway on Friday night.

Not only did Billy Decker make a triumphant return coming from 14th to first to win the 35 lap Modified main, but the Mod-Lites provided a race that many in attendance will not soon forget.

Track crews have been working feverishly on the first turn as the wet Spring has done nothing to help track prep. Throughout the night packers and graders worked over the track to make the situation as good as possible.

It paid off for the Mod-Lites as at the halfway point Mike Mullen, Josh Kinney, Zach Babcock, Justin Williams and Brian Myers were all together. A few laps later Kinney got squeezed trying to dive under Williams between three and four and faltered a bit.




Meanwhile, the other four were driving fans crazy with pass after pass, side-by-side action and in the end Josh Kinney chalked up the win by .045 of a second. Third place Mike Mullen was .164 of a second behind the leader and fourth place Babcock .360 of a second. It was amazing.

Starter Dave Farney said afterwards, “That was probably one of the most exciting races I have seen in a long long time.”

It was a classic, but Kinney in Victory Lane sounded like he had just gone to a flower show as he was so low keyed when he said, “I am trying to get use to the new motor”. He didn’t even address the close competition. So if you look in the dictionary for the definition of “low key” I bet it has Josh Kinney’s picture next to it.

Decker and Smith Combination Fun

The last time out at the Demon the 91 of Decker sustained mechanical problems forcing him to load it up for the night.

In stepped Jeremy Smith and offered Decker the ride. Now these guys have a racing relationship as Decker drives for Smith on Brett Deyo’s Short Track Super Series.

Well, this week Jeremy started up front and it appeared he might be headed for his first feature win, but on the 31st lap a lapped car had trouble forcing him high entering turn two. The bottom opened up and Decker stormed past.

For several laps the duo had raced side-by-side in an extremely entertaining race. However, after Decker took over at the point Smith had Tom Sears Jr. to contend with. It took until the final lap before Sears came up with second and Smith settled for a well driven third.

Decker’s ghost popped up in the Sportsmen main as 16-year-old Tyler Trump brought the 9x home over a rapidly closing Glenn Forward.

Trump was driving a former Billy Decker mount driven when he was with Gypsum a couple of years ago.

Fulton Jammed Pits & Plenty of Racing

Much like a year ago when the Empire Super Sprints headed to Quebec for a weekend show, the Patriot field blossomed for the Fulton show.

Last year 30 Sprinters were pit side, but this year they just kept coming as 41 provided four jam packed heats, two B’s, a dash and a 25-lap feature that could have been better than it was had it not been for an ill-timed yellow.

For me Sprint car racing only gets good when the leaders hit traffic and just as eventual winner Bryan Howland and Larry Wight caught up with the tail end of the field and it appeared it was time for edge of your seat racing a minor spin brought out the yellow.

With a wide open track Bryan pulled away and by the time he hit traffic again, attention was turning toward a sensational runner-up battle between Chuck Hebing and Larry Wight.

The Cobra struck in the very late going and appeared to have second clinched, but a move coming out of four on the final turn saw Wight squeeze into an area between the yuke tire and Hebing to surprisingly capture second.

First Time Winners

Though the twin Sportsman mains were held on an Outlaw weekend type of slick track surface.

Two drivers who have been quite dedicated and determined captured their first career Fulton wins as Jimmy Phelps, younger brother of Jimmy, and Jessica Power celebrated in Victory Kane.

Mike dominated, but in the late going his lead was disappearing as Chris Mackey and Matt Janczuk were closing in. For a brief moment it appeared that Phelps might not get that win as he won by sixth tenth of a second and third place Janczuk was eight tenths of a second behind.

Phelps admitted to a track official that he was getting mighty nervous in the final stages, but he held it all together. In the past he has been oh so close to winning, but this year hasn’t treated him as well as late 2016. Finally, he got that elusive first win.

Power, from Kingston, Ont., drives past two other tracks to compete at Fulton as she respects the tough competition. The soft spoken young woman holds quite a bit of respect for her competition and showed determination as Corey Barker was stalking her so much that there might be a need for a restraining order. Barker got caught up with a lapped car late in the race and held on for what was a frustrating second straight second place finish as he was just a half second behind.

Racing Provides Many Opportunities

A week ago Pat Ward wasn’t happy with Tim Sears Jr. and expressed his dissatisfaction on the track.

As so often happens in racing drivers who seem to have a moment or two end up in a similar situation week after week.

This time around it was the duo fighting for the lead in the 35-lap Modified main. The night before they were around one another when all heck broke loose in the fourth turn at Brewerton (not either of their faults, but they were side by side).

So at Fulton it took Ward 26 laps to get past Jim Witko Jr. and then Sears passed him. The remainder of the race the duo raced side by side, exchanged the lead and put on a tremendous big block show before Sears won by 1.3 seconds over Ward in an exciting finish.

Brewerton Pit Stops

Jeff Blackburn back in Mod pits with a new Bicknell. Jeff has been moving his business and pushed his racing schedule back a bit…

Mark Wallace new Four-Cylinder in the pits…

Patrick LaPage noted the reason for hitting the yuke tire at Fulton the previous week is because his visor fogged up. He said he didn’t spray it. He jokingly said, “I’m a big buy and I breathe hard.” His night went south when another car turned him around in the feature. He had qualified for a handicapped position through his heat…

Four-Cylinder driver Shawn Hort was back. He has been searching for a problem solving situation since week one and discovered a pin had come out of the cam shaft. He had mechanical trouble early…

Tim Sears Jr. had a move to start his heat that was mind boggling and one of those wow moments. He went to the apex between one and two and shot right between Ryan Bartlett and Mike Mahaney as they headed down the back stretch…

Jeff Blackburn had a wild ride in his heat. The car powered into one, stood up on the two right wheels, nearly went over, came down and went up on the left side wheels once again showing the oil pan. He stayed on all fours…

Rich Scagliotta had overheating motor troubles in his heat, but rallied for 17th place finish…

Ryan Bartlett had a rocker arm break. The team did what it could. He came out and did two laps before accepting last place…

Mod-Lite driver Tom Perkins rolled his car in turn one as it appeared the back end simply came around on him…

The Mod feature was slowed on lap two when a car made a quick move out of four and created a domino type situation that collected Adam Roberts, Tim Kerr, Larry Wight, and Max McLaughlin along with Andrew Ferguson. Roberts and Kerr were done for the night…

Jimmy Phelps was ninth at the halfway point, but rallied with a solid late run to pick up fifth…

Larry Wight went to the rear in the early multi car accident that he was involved in. He rallied back for seventh…

Gary Tomkins best run of year at Demon with fourth place…

Matt Hulsizer didn’t get a handicapped spot and started 20th, but came home with a respectable tenth place finish in the Mod main…

17 Mods finished in the lead lap and it took 21 laps before the first car was lapped…

Ronnie Davis III, second in points, was first car out as he got collected in a mix-up that included Zach Sobotka just as the field took the green. Rare night when 32R goes off on the hook…

Sportsman point leader Alan Fink came home fifth after winning the first two features of the year…

Chris Cunningham was solid in the early going of the Sportsman main, but ended up settling for seventh…

J.J. Courcy had heavy body damage to the right side and rear in the Sportsman feature…

Solid run by Stephen Denton with a third as he spent the last part of the Sportsman main trying to hold off Glenn Forward. Glenn got past in the very late stages…

Gordie Button is mentoring Sportsman rookie Jeff Taylor…

Joe Garafolo was back after missing a week. He thought he would be back earlier, but noted, “The parts I ordered got lost in one of the tornadoes that hit the Midwest”.

Ray Bechler simply had the easiest win I’ve seen in a long time for someone other than Chuck Powelczyk.

24 Mods, 24 Sportsman, 16 Mod Lites and 13 Four Cylinders were in the pits on Friday.

Fulton Pit Stops

Mark Green returned with his Late Model and had a tough night. Brake issues eventually resulted in slapping the wall and moving the rear-end over several inches…

Kyle Perry moved up from the Novice Sportsman class…

Josh Blackwell was a new Sportsman driver while John Dwyer was in Jake Davis Novice and Natt Sharpe was another newcomer. Rick Regalski made his 2017 Fulton debut in the Mods…

Chris Fleming was in the Brandon Ford 18. His car was extensively damaged the prior week at Fulton. Looking at two weeks for rebuild…

Ron Davis III had busy night and day with a new shock tower, shocks, right front rim, body panels and front bumper after getting collected on the start at the Demon on Friday night. He finished third in one Sportsman main…

Adam Roberts and Tim Kerr both had front ends heavily damaged on Friday. On the 07 everything in the front end expect spindles were replaced in working at the Gypsum shop all Saturday afternoon…

Sprint driver Chris Steele lost a right front wheel at speed early in the night…

Ironically, Mike Phelps and Jessica Power won heats along with Jeremy Pitcher and Chris Mackey…

Jeff Trombley had qualified for the Sprint Car A-Main only to be penalized two spots for a restart jump in his heat. He had to run the B…

Mod heat winners Wight, Kerr and Ryan Jordan…

Dwight Nichols had the worst crash of the night and he is done. Kierra Backus rode up over his rear end. The impact wiped out the right rear and resulting damage was inflicted on the front end. Dwight sustained a back injury and a Backus tire actually hit him in the shoulder. He had just come back from major repairs after getting collected a few weeks ago…

Tom Juno picked up his first Novice feature win while Steve Marshall repeated in the other. Juno owns Power Seal and supports racing at Brewerton and Fulton with substantial financial assistance. He decided he wanted to go racing and drove solidly in getting his first checker…

Torsion bar on Patrick LaPage car went bad and after starting up front.  He fell back and dropped out of his Sportsman main after 15 laps…

J.J. Courcy was back after heavy body damage the night before at Brewerton. He finished 10 in his Sportsman event…

In the Mike Phelps win all 19 cars completed 25 laps. No one was lapped…

Jimmy Phelps wants to win, but man is he consistent. He rallied late in the Mod feature for a solid fourth while point leader Larry Wight came home sixth. In between them was a consistent top seven finisher Chris Hile…

Jimmy Witko had his best run of the year and ran up front for a long time. He settled for seventh and was followed by Chad Phelps and Kerr…

Joe August decided not to risk his equipment at Brewerton and left early on Friday, but Saturday it seemed the decision paid off as he came home in 10th for his best finish in a while…

Mod heat action had an exciting moment on the last lap as both Katelyn Hile and Beth Bellinger got past Andrew Ferguson on the back stretch to earn handicapped positions in the Mod feature…

Not to be outdone for competitiveness the Late Model main was sensational Brett Belden was leading most of the race, but with a handful of laps to go eventual winner Dale Caswell made incidental contact and Bretski sustained a left rear flat tire. Dale apologized in Victory Lane and noted how much he respects Belden and has since he was a young man. Sadly Belden finished 13th…

Caswell eked out a six tenth of a second win over Kevan Cook and Fleming took the Ford 18 to third…

A.J. Kingsley continued to regroup and came home fourth…

Outstanding racing at both tracks this past weekend and quite a bit going on behind the scenes…

See you this week as it is getting wild and crazy on a weekly basis. You just have no idea what is going to happen.

Send along comments and news to foley395@hotmail.com